San Francisco

Collection locations for car hire in San Francisco

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) (young driver package available here):

  • Open 24 hours

Union Square Area, O’Farrell Street

350 O’Farrell Street – Thrifty

  • 07.00 – 18.00 Mon – Sat

364 O’Farrell Street – Dollar

  • 07.00 – 18.00 Mon – Sun

340 O’Farrell Street – Alamo/National (young driver package available here)

  • 07.00 – 19.00 Mon – Sun

Fishermans Warf Area

Fishermans Wharf – Sheraton, 2,500 Mason Street – Dollar

  • 07.00 – 18.00 Mon – Sun

Downtown (City) Locations

Bush Street – 750 Bush Street – Alamo/National – (young driver package available here)

  • 07.00 – 18.00 Mon – Fri
  • 07.00 – 17.00 Sat – Sun

Convention Center – 687 Folsom Street – Alamo – (young driver package available here)

  • 08.00 -16.00 Mon – Fri
  • 08.00 – 13.00 Sat – Sun

Burlingame, 1815 Bayshore Highway – Dollar

  • 08.00 – 16.00 – Mon – Sat
  • Closed Sunday

For the best choice of vehicles and quickest service we recommend using the the airport location to collect your car. Many of the down-town locations are restricted by their location as to how many vehicles they can hold at any one time.  Large vehicle transporters loaded up with cars are a familiar site as they bring the cars in from the airport for collection from the city depots.  Because of these restrictions, customers can often find themselves waiting for 2 – 3 hours in peak months from May to October to collect a car, even though it is all confirmed! You can plan your best route to the airport via public transport on the San Francisco Airport website here.

Places to Visit

Alcatraz

When one thinks of San Francisco, a glimpse of ‘The Rock” is right up there with the Golden Gate Bridge, just as a visit to New York is not complete with out a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty.  Alcatraz is operated by the National Park Service so it is not included in area ticket deals such as the Go San Francisco card. The official ferry, operated under the name of Hornblower Cruises, departs from Pier 33 near Fisherman’s Wharf. Even if you don’t have time to actually step foot onto the island,  a bay cruise will take you around Alcatraz, and under the bridge and allow you to really enjoy the fantastic skyline.

Golden Gate Park

Also run by the National Park Service as part of the same park as Alcatraz, the Golden Gate park is home to the California Academy of Sciences. The park is about a fifth as large again as Central Park in Manhattan, and similarly rectangular in shape.  There is a boating lake, Japanese Tea Garden and Conservatory of Flowers along with a Bison Paddock where you can view North American Bison as part of a preservation project. The Park is quite a distance from the main downtown areas, and public transport ends with rather a long walk, so you may want to visit this park after you have collected your hire car.

  • golden gate bridge san francisco from above

Pier 39

Pier 39 is a shopping and dining destination with a difference – SeaLions.  Since 1990, a colony of Sea Lions has made K Dock at Pier 39 their home, much to the delight and amusement of both locals and tourists. Street Performers provide human entertainment, and there are well over 100 specialist shops to browse. There are also 14 full table service restaurants to choose from.

Cable Car Museum – 1201 Mason Street

Cable cars are integral to the history of San Francsico.  Nowadays they have been replaced by electric street cars, but three systems remain for tourists to experience the joy of these machines: the Powell-Hyde line, the Powell-Mason line and the California line, the first two of which also stop at the museum. The Cable Car Museum provides historic context, photos, memorabilia and antique cable cars  – it is well worth the visit.

The Exploratorium

This is a ‘hands-on’ interactive science museum with an emphasis on the ‘hands-on’ .  Great, but simple, displays are ideal for children to explore science – whatever their level of learning. Newly moved to Pier 15 on the Embarcadero at Green St, in a fabulous modern building, the Exploratorium now features 600 interactive displays.

Wax Museum at Fisherman’s Wharf

After celebrating its 50th year at Fisherman’s Wharf, the Wax Museums founders have now sold the business to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum which will open in 2014, along with San Francisco Dungeons, at 145 Jefferson Street.

  • Vintage Street Car in San Francisco